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strongyloidiasis

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Strongyloidiasis is primarily an infection of the small bowel by the filarial worm Strongyloides stercoralis (and rarely S. fülleborni) (1).

  • it is endemic in the tropics and subtropics but also seen in countries with temperate climates, people who have lived or travelled to these areas are also at risk
  • infection can be either acute or chronic in nature (2)

Transmission of the infection may occur through:

  • direct penetration of human skin by infective larvae when in contact with soil e.g. - walking barefoot
  • oro-anal contact - seen in homosexual men
  • solid organ transplants - there have been reports of transmission of the infection derived from the donor organ 
  • faecal-oral route - may be possible when larvae contaminated water is used to wash vegetables in endemic areas (2)

Most infections are asymptomatic however immunosuppressed individuals may suffer gross infection.

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